Fire department discussions always seem to head off in the same direction, as if the choices are limited to a full-time professional force or a bunch of incompetent auxiliaries.
In other places along Highways 16 and 97 the approach fits neither of those extremes. I have lived or worked in places where there was a small full-time force augmented by auxiliaries (as the title itself suggests) who serve part time. Auxiliaries are trained and accumulate experience just like full-timers. I don’t know where the idea comes from that they are untrained. When taking industrial first aid the auxiliary fire fighters were among the best in the course because it was just a refresher for them.
From my observation auxiliaries are not looked down on in other communities. That is a respected way to serve the community and they are appropriately appreciated. I recall seeing in local papers pictures of the auxiliaries and their names, acknowledging their service. They would also have fire department stickers on their pickups to identify themselves as first responders.
I owned a house in one town with a small professional force and auxiliaries. I do not recall my insurance being any higher than in Rupert where I have also owned a house. Nor do I recall anyone mentioning it as an issue or concern. No one seemed to think that by having auxiliary members as part of the fire department citizens should fear for their safety or otherwise lose sleep over the matter.
There seems to be a very different narrative in Prince Rupert, for reasons that are difficult to decipher.